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In general, do you think 2018 has been a good year for creative advertising?

I do think there’s been a good variety of work produced, primarily in the film category. What we’re not seeing as much of, I think, is ground-breaking ideas that are surprising or which challeng the way we do things. It still feels a bit 'business as usual'.

"What an ad agency still brings, first and foremost, is an expertise in connecting brands to culture and the consumer." 

What piece or pieces of work have impressed you most over the last year?

I’ve been a massive fan of music videos this year. How some have managed to really challenge cultural norms like Childish Gambino's This Is America. And I am a huge fan of Spike Jonze's visually stunning work for Apple HomePod.

 

The changing landscape of the industry - within agencies, production companies and clients - continues to be at the forefront of industry minds; how has that situation evolved in last 12 months and how has it affected the work?

I think it’s still hit and miss. I’ve seen a lot of clients and production companies trying to bring creativity in-house. But I still feel that in this day and age it’s really easy to lose perspective when you’re marketing your own products. What an ad agency still brings, first and foremost, is an expertise in connecting brands to culture and the consumer. And, ideally, finding new ways to do that. However, you look at a brand like Apple, and you can’t help but say ‘Bravo'.

"I think there’s definitely more to be done in terms of the actual training of a diverse range of people."

Is the term ‘traditional’ now just a euphemism for ‘outdated’; do agencies – old and new – need to reappraise their approach to the industry and how they engage audiences?

Absolutely. As a creative industry, I personally feel we’re not doing our jobs if we’re not challenging everyone, including ourselves. Especially now, in a digital age where there are so many distractions… people just don’t need another message thrown at them.

 

The Trump presidency and the fallout from Brexit have dominated headlines this year; how do you think those situations have impacted on the advertising industry?

Well, part of what I love about the industry is global influence. Having teams of people from all over the world working on a problem keeps us objective, open-minded and energised. I’d hate for the drawing of borders or bad politics to close people off from working abroad and losing global influence.

Image result for global influence


Diversity continues to be at the centre of industry discussions; do you think advertising is doing enough to promote a diverse range of people within the business? What more could/should be done?

I think there’s definitely more to be done in terms of the actual training of a diverse range of people. We need to start earlier, at an education level, so that more and more people are given an opportunity to come into our industry better equipped with the skills they need to help evolve it.

 

What do you think the biggest talking points of 2019 might be?

Trump and Brexit.

 

What do you think advertising’s New Year’s resolution should be?

Less talking. More doing.

"People just don’t need another message thrown at them."

What will be your own New Year’s resolution, work-related or otherwise?

Enjoy more, grow more, win more...

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